Impressions of the Berlinale

19. Februar 2010

The Berlinale is slowly coming to an end, and when I look back at the last couple of days, they were filled with exciting, fun and thought-provoking experiences. From running late to a press conference, but ending at a screening of a documentary; from missing Leonardo DiCaprio, but watching a short film in a miniature-cinema; and from being stunned by future film-talents soon coming our way through the Berlinale Talent Campus, I can truly say that the Berlinale was a great success. Then I got to thinking, if I had such wonderful experiences during the Berlinale, what must the experiences of the other five thousand visitors be like?

I took my camera and my notebook and 3 hours of my time and went to the spot where all the action was happening: the Potsdamer Platz. There, I set out on a mission to ask young people what their coolest, most memorable, maybe even most disappointing experience during this year’s film festival was.

Read on to see what they felt about the Berlinale.

Julien, 22, from Berlin – “I work at the entrance of the Berlinale Palast, right next to the red carpet. Every single day, something crazy happens here. Twice or so it happened that the stars stopped right in front of me, so close that I could smell their perfume. But usually, all I see are the fans. These fans are out of their minds, let me tell you. There is a woman who comes here every day. On the first day, she placed herself in front of us {him and his colleague} and preached to us that she was “the elected one, the chosen one“. She thought we would just say “Ok!“ and let her in to the premier. Well, she thought wrong. When I kindly asked her to buy a ticket or to leave, she started singing out loud. Everyone waiting in line looked at her funny. The next day she came back, still singing aloud in front of everyone. She does this every day… And once, a man insisted on entering the exclusive premier of “My Name is Khan“. When I stopped him from entering the Berlinale Palast without a ticket, he put on a show, saying: “Don’t u know who I am? I am Royalty from Magdeburg {a small town in Germany}. Let me in, seriously.“ Of course I could not let him pass. I found it surprising that people went crazy for Shahrukh Khan. The day of his premier was the only day we needed extra-support from the police, because his fans tried jumping the barriers. Some of his loyal fans awaited him from noon, standing at the red carpet with their cameras and pens ready. His premiere started at eight in the evening… “

Magdalena, 22, from Spain: “I love the Berlinale because it gives me a reason to take a vacation to Berlin. All my friends who have drifted of to different corners of the world also come to Berlin. It really is our love for films and the Berlinale that reunites us every year!“

Wiebke, 23, from Leipzig: “I had an embarrassing moment at the Berlinale: I was late to the movie heater, and on my way in, I ran over this guy. He fell, I fell on top of him and I was extremely embarrassed. Only when I stood up to apologize, I realized it was Tom Schilling, the main actor of the film on the screen. I turned red like a tomato, because the only reason I wanted to watch this movie was because him – I had a huge crush on him ever since I was 15.“ (Editor’s note: Tom Schilling is comparable to Robert Pattinson.)

Vanessa and Berenice, both 22, from Peru: “We’ve been waiting in line for more than 30 minutes. But every minute is worth waiting for: the Berlinale is always a great event. Our favourite film so far was “The Killer Inside me“.

Everyone I interviewed was quick to tell me a funny story or talk about their favourite film. Some were disappointed that museums had restricted entry, others were excited that they could also go see a short film in a museum. Some said they had already seen more than 20 films and their eyes hurt, where others had not seen a single film, they only went to the Berlinale-parties and their heads hurt. All in all, the Berlinale and Berlin left a good impression with the people. Let’s hope this last weekend will prove itself one last time!

by Yolanda Rother

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